The School of Art and Design
Derek Johnson – Director
55 members of the School of Art and Design have returned from an incredible 5-day residential in New York City, USA. The trip was packed and fast moving – early morning starts and walking many miles each day – covering the breadth of Manhattan through to the far south of Brooklyn.
It was a truly inspiring, demanding, happy and simply fantastic week.
Day One (Monday 4th March): The coach left the WSC car park for Heathrow at 01:45am. By the end of that long day we had arrived in America, checked into the iconic Hotel Pennsylvania, marvelled at Times Square and viewed the city from the 86th floor of the Empire state Building at night.
Day Two (Tuesday 5th March): early start to catch the first ferry to Liberty Island to see the Statue. Then back and up Broadway to Wall Street to Trinity Church, We then cut across to the 911 memorial and Freedom Tower. We then progressed up the city to a closed door amazing tour of the Peter Tunney gallery & studio. The journey continued all the way up Broadway to China Town and Canal Street. Our annual ice skating madness then unfolded at the Rockefeller Centre in the evening.
Day three (Wednesday 6th March): straight down to ‘end of the line’ Coney Island in south Brooklyn for photoshoot, beech combing and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Restaurant. Then we travelled by subway to the original Junior’s Cheesecake Diner in Flatbush, to the East River, under the Manhattan Bridge and up onto the mile walk across the monumental Brooklyn Bridge. We then walked to lower China Town and gathered our thoughts and received fortune rolls from the Mahayana Buddhist Temple. This was followed by independent time and Saint Mark’s Place. In the evening we all had a group evening meal at Lombardi’s - America’s first pizzeria located in Little Italy.
Day four (Thursday 7th March): Straight up to 72nd Street on the 1-train – to visit Strawberry Fields and through Central Park. This is magical in the snow. From here we travelled to 5th Avenue and downtown to booked MOMA gallery visit to see masterpieces from throughout art history and contemporary exhibits. Then back over to Brooklyn to Graham Avenue for the annual ritual of rainbow bagels at the famous Bagel Store. This was followed by a visit to the huge Halloween store. In the evening the group travelled to Roosevelt Island on the Queensborough Bridge Cable car for night views of the Manhattan skyline.
Graphic Design students were invited to have a tour and presentation at the Type Directors Club (TDC) head office. The Type Directors Club is an international organisation specialising in typography and graphic design. The organisation’s objective is to celebrate and raise the standards of typography and related fields within the graphic arts. Carol Wahler, the Executive Director of the organisation, invited the students and delivered a presentation on the history of TDC. Students then explored a fantastic typography and print exhibition: Connection, Community & Values - Inside the Facebook Analog Research Lab. This was an exhibition on the impact of social media. This was a fantastic opportunity for students to explore a creative space and see how passionate the institution is in driving innovative and impactful design within the creative industries. This opportunity is reflective of the outstanding standards and ambition inherent with the School of Art & Design.
Day five (Friday 8th March): Friday saw students visiting a range of internationally extremely high-profile organisations. These included an invitation and presentation at the Type Directors Club and The Fashion Institute. Another group of students undertook a high security tour of the head office of Google NY. These are extremely rare opportunities. Further to this students had until 16:00pm to explore the city in whichever way they decided. By this stage their city confidence and knowledge was vastly improved.
The group flew back to the UK at 22:00pm and arrived back at the WSC carpark from where it all stared at 13:00 pm on Saturday 9th March – with many, many amazing memories and traveling skills to last a lifetime.
Derek Johnson said: "Our annual New York trip reflects the ambitious and adventurous culture within our Art School. It was a crazy and packed week of experiences that will last a lifetime. The students and staff were all amazing and had a long sleep on the return flight and over the weekend!"
In November 2019 we are returning – to do it all again!